Whether you’re a brand new cook or an experienced one, there are plenty of sources of frustration in the kitchen. No matter what your cooking skills are like, little annoyances can make preparing a meal much more stressful. Here are some cooking tips that will help preparing your meals go a little more smoothly.
Always add oil to the side of the pan when sautéing. If you find that you need more oil in your pan while you are cooking, never put it right in the middle. Add it to the side of your pan. That way, it will be sufficiently heated by the time it reaches the food.
As you cook your meal during the course of the night, make sure that you taste it at several different points. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly when it is done, so that you do not run the risk of overcooking it. Tasting your food is important to achieve the quality you desire.
Purchase a quality loaf of bread that you can use as a side piece to a variety of meals. Bread goes great with any dish that has sauce or cheese, as you can dip it in a variety of different toppings. Include a loaf of Italian or French bread with your next meal.
To get the best sear and the crispiest crust on everything from fish to meats to other pan fried foods, the secret is a hot pan. Getting a nice brown color on your food requires a pan that is as hot as possible before the food hits its surface. Because the exterior of the food cooks first, you get only one chance to create that perfect golden color and crispy texture, so heat your pan and oil for several minutes prior.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
When attempting to make baked goods, less fattening, applesauce is a great ingredient to use. It can be used with cake mix, brownies or even pancakes. It is an inexpensive way to make foods that are usually fattening, healthier and delicious. When baking, it is a good idea to use unsweetened applesauce.
When seasoning your food, add the seasonings gradually rather than dumping it all in at once. This will allow you to make your meal more flavorful, and will prevent you from adding too much seasoning.
When serving a salad for guests that accompanies a meal, avoid pouring dressing on it. Leave the dressing on the side instead. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. For an even more considerate touch, provide different kinds of dressings.
Trying to deep fry at home? Whenever your food is ready for the fryer, use tongs to gently hold the item just below the surface of the oil so that it has a sealed exterior and then let it go. If you toss it in without holding it for a few seconds, you might see your food stick to each other or to the fryer itself.
One of the best cooking tips for moist and flavorful meat is to take the time to marinate. The simple truth is that the longer you marinate your meat, the more intense and enjoyable the flavor will be. A good rule of thumb is to marinate overnight whenever possible ” longer is even better. For safety sake, be sure to keep food covered and chilled in the refrigerator as it marinates.
Put food into a hot pan instead of trying to cook it while the pan is still cold. The pan should already be at the desired temperature before you start cooking. This will ensure that the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. You want to see the steam rising off the pan when you start cooking.
After cooking, always let your meat rest before serving it. This is especially true when you pull meat from a hot grill. Moisture that keeps your meat tender is sealed within it. When you cut steaming hot meat, the steam that rises is actually the moisture leaving the meat. When you let meat “settle” for at least 15 minutes prior to serving, the moisture and tenderness is preserved.
A foolproof way to clarify butter. Melt several sticks of butter over low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. When you see froth on the top, solid particles on the bottom, and a clear yellow liquid in between, remove the pan from the heat. Skim the froth off the top, and strain the clarified liquid into a container, leaving the milk solids behind.
Keep a pack of unflavored, unwaxed dental floss in your kitchen. If you need to make clean, precise cuts, dental floss is typically much more effective than using even the sharpest kitchen knife because of it’s small width. Simply pass the piece of dental floss through the item you are cutting for a nice, clean slice.
For easy low-fat cooking make sure that you measure the oil that you use in your recipes. If you just pour it from the bottle it is easy to accidentally include too much oil in the dish. By measuring it out, you are giving yourself much more control over how much oil you can use, which will help you to keep your dishes healthier.
Fresh lemons are a very versatile garnish in many recipes, but getting juice out of a lemon can seem like a huge chore. Rather than pulling out the big juicer, try this trick. Roll the lemon on the counter top for a few seconds, then place it in the microwave on high for 15 seconds. Take it out and cut it open – you should be able to squeeze twice the juice as before!
There are plenty of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking. Now that you’ve read this article, you have plenty of advice you can apply the next time you head to the kitchen. Now that you have these tips, you may find you’re willing to try cooking something a little more challenging.